Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jewish Gang Symbol

I read the Sermon Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl wrote about the Star of David and there was the story about the Jewish Gang symbol: On August 1998 the board of Harrison Central High School in Gulfport Mississippi told fifteen-year-old student Ryan Green not to wear his Star of David since it might be interpreted as a gang symbol. 

Broken Star of David

In Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin), 20 miles south of St. Petersburg, Jewish sculptor Vadim Sidur (1924 - 1986) built a monument entitled " “The Formula of Sorrow”, to commemorate the deaths of 10,000 local Jews during the Nazi occupation. The monument is comprised of abstract letters “J” and “D” denoting the word Jude. A broken Star of David completes the monument.

A broken Star of David appears also in the architect Daniel Libeskind design of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Leningrad Codex

Leningrad Codex magen david

The Leningrad Codex contains sixteen decorative geometric patterns of medieval Jewish art. One of them, the cover page, shows a Star of David in a square while the square is in a circle. There are Hebrew verses from the Bible around the star and the square, and in the center of the Star there's a dedication of the book to the writer's teacher.

The Leningrad Codex is the oldest surviving complete copy of the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, written by Shmuel ben Ya'akov in Egypt in 1008.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia entry: Leningrad Codex


The term Star of David has many synonyms and that's one of the obstacles on the way to collect information about it. These synonyms are sometimes relating to similar or even identical shapes in other cultures, which bear other meanings, but because of the similarity of the shapes people tend to label them with the same name. Life could have been easier if everybody used one term…

 Magen David (Hebrew) or Mogen Dovid (Ashkenazi Hebrew) or Shield of David or David's Star or Jewish Star (Judenster, Yellow Patch) is a six-pointed star created from two equilateral triangles and is known as the symbol of Judaism.

Solomon's seal or Seal of Solomon was according to Jewish Islamic and Christian legends King Solomon's signet ring that gave him the power to command demons.  It is in the shape of five pointed stars (pentagram) or six pointed stars.

Estoile is a six-pointed star with wavy rays. There are estoiles with eight points and others with four points like Cross estoile.

Mullet (or molet) is a six-pointed star with straight rays. In English it is heraldry with five straight points and in French it is heraldry with six points. Mullet of eight points is called octagram.

Hexagon in Greek means: having six angles; a polygon with six sides.

Hexagram is a six-pointed star formed by extending each of the sides of a regular hexagon to form two equilateral triangles.

Hexahedron is a polyhedron that has six faces (like a cube).

Chinese checkers is a board game for two to six people. Each player tries to jump his marbles from one point of a six-pointed star shaped board to the opposite point. It is not a Chinese game – it got its name in the United States to make it sound more exotic. 

Shatkona (Yantra) is an Indian yoga "superposition of two triangles, one pointing upwards and the other downwards, forming a star with six points, also known as David's Star. This form symbolically represents the union of purusha and prakriti or Shiva-Shakti, without which there could be no creation".